28 October 2013
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Henry Makiwa 020 7877 7479 / HMakiwa@redcross.org.uk
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British Red Cross emergency teams are responding across the UK as severe weather conditions and winds of almost 100 mph whipped across swathes of the country.
Since Sunday night, Red Cross staff and volunteers braved the hurricane-force storm - dubbed St. Jude’s after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day falls on Monday - which caused transport disruptions and power outages. The charity’s teams were on hand to support ambulance services, transport hospital patients and help stranded travellers. They also made house-calls to check on the welfare of vulnerable older people.
Simon Lewis, the British Red Cross head of emergency response and planning, said: “Throughout Sussex, Kent, Cheshire and London, our teams of volunteers and staff have been kept busy responding to call-outs caused by the storm. Our teams have been out providing blankets and practical assistance.
“Although the storm has passed across the UK now, we are mindful that it has left a trail of destruction in its wake. We’re urging people to call in on friends, neighbours and relatives, especially the elderly, to see if they need help staying warm or getting provisions,” he added.
A Red Cross fire and emergency services team is supporting the family of a 17-year-old girl in Edenbridge, Kent, who was killed after a tree fell on a mobile home. In East Sussex, Red Cross volunteers provided support to the search and rescue team looking for a 14-year-old boy swept out to sea at Newhaven yesterday.
Volunteers have been helping a family in Hastings who lost the roof of their caravan in the storm. The Red Cross teams have also provided 75 blankets to a rest centre in Peacehaven and deployed volunteers to a nursing home in St Leonards-on-Sea.
Some 70 volunteers across Kent and Sussex have made themselves available to provide support. In London, one ambulance was deployed in support of the ambulance service.
Travel chaos prevented thousands from reaching work across Britain this morning and 220,000 homes were without electricity, while a reported 200 trees were felled as a result of the storm.
Notes to editors
• For interviews, photography, case studies or more information, please contact Henry Makiwa on HMakiwa@redcross.org.uk 02078777479
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
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